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Assessor's Manual, Volume 4, ExemptionAdministration

Exemption Administration Manual - Part 2
Industrial, Commercial, and Public Service

Section 4.06 - RPTL §499-bbb

Green Roof Properties in New York City

 Exemption Code(s): Not applicable (see Coding of Abatement on Assessment Roll below).

Year Originally Enacted: 2008

Related Statutes: None.

SUMMARY: Real property located in New York City and in Class One, Two, or Four, and which has supplemental roofing that meets specific "green roof" standards for reducing storm water runoff is eligible for a one-year abatement in taxes, but liable for special assessments. The amount of the abatement is limited to the lesser of a dollar amount per square foot or fixed dollar amount, depending on when the abatement is granted.  There is also an overall cap on the aggregate amount of tax abatements granted in any one year.  The abatement commences on July 1 following approval of the application for abatement by an agency designated by the Mayor. An eligible building is limited to a single abatement under this section of law.

  1. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:
    1. Ownership Requirements: Property must be owned by a private individual or organization.
    2. Property Location Requirements: Property must be located in New York City.
    3. Property Use Requirements: Property must be a building in Class One, Two, or Four. A building eligible for abatement must have a "green roof," which means an addition to the roof of the building that covers at least 50 percent of the building's total available space (as certified by an engineer or architect or other certified or licensed professional whom an agency designated by the Mayor specifies by rule (see Certification by State or Local Government below), and includes: (a) a weatherproof and waterproof roofing membrane layer that complies with local construction and fire codes, (b) a root barrier layer, (c) an insulation layer that complies with the Energy Conservation Construction Code of New York state and local construction and fire codes, (d) a drainage layer that complies with local construction and fire codes and is designed so that the drains can be inspected and cleaned, (e) a growth medium, including natural or simulated soil, with a depth of at least two inches, (f) if the depth of the growth medium is less than three inches, an independent water holding layer that is designed to prevent the rapid drying of the growth medium, such as a non-woven fabric, pad or foam mat or controlled flow roof drain, unless the green roof is certified not to need regular irrigation to maintain live plants, and (g) a vegetation layer, at least 80 percent of which must be covered by live plants such as (1) sedum or equally drought resistant and hardy plant species, (2) native plant species and/or (3) agricultural plant species. The owner of the green roof property must agree to maintain the green roof during the year of abatement, and for a minimum of three years thereafter so that it continues to meet the property use requirements as stated above, and subject to rules promulgated by an agency designated by the Mayor, and must also agree to allow inspection of the eligible improvements.
    4. Certification by State or Local Government: Project must be certified by an engineer or architect or other certified or licensed professional whom an agency designated by the Mayor may specify in rule.
    5. Required Construction Start Date or Other Time Requirement: An applicant may file for this abatement on or after January 1, 2009, but no later than March 15, 2018.
  2. LOCAL OPTION: No.
  3. LIMITATION ON EXEMPTION:
    General
    Municipal
    Taxes
    School
    District
    Taxes
    Special
    Ad Valorem
    Levies
    Special
    Assessments
    1. Amount Yes* Yes* NA No
    abatement
    allowed
    2. Duration One year One year NA No
    abatement
    allowed
    3. Taxing Jurisdiction
    a. City
    Ex NA NA Tax
    b. School District
    NA Ex NA NA
    Ex-Exempt   Tax-Taxable   NA-Not Applicable

    * See Calculation of Exemption below.

  4. PAYMENTS IN LIEU OF TAXES: None required.
  5. CALCULATION OF EXEMPTION:
    1. General Municipal and School District Taxes: The amount of the abatement depends on when the abatement is granted on the property. For any tax year commencing on or after July 1, 2009 and ending on or before June 30, 2014 the abatement is calculated as $4.50 per square foot of green roof (see Property Use Requirements above), but not to exceed the lesser of $100,000 or the amount of taxes due in the tax year of the abatement. For any tax year commencing on or after July 1, 2014 and ending on or before June 30, 2019 the abatement is calculated as $5.23 per square foot of a green roof, but not to exceed the lesser of $200,000 or the amount of taxes due in the year of abatement.

      If the eligible building is a condominium, the abatement should be apportioned among all of the condominium tax lots within such eligible building. The duration of this abatement is one year.

      This abatement is subject to an overall cap on the amount that can be spent in any one year on the abatement program: $750,000 in City fiscal year 2015; and $1,000,000 in City fiscal years 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.  The aggregate amount of abatements will be allocated by the City Department of Finance among eligible applicants on a pro rate basis.

      If as a result of appeal to the City Tax Commission or a court order or by action by the Department of Finance, the billable assessed value for the fiscal year in which the abatement applies is reduced after the assessment roll becomes final, the Department of Finance should recalculate the abatement so that the abatement granted will not exceed the annual taxes as so reduced. The amount equal to the difference between the abatement originally granted and the abatement as so recalculated should be deducted from any refund otherwise payable or remission otherwise due as a result of such reduction in billable assessed value.

  6. Special Assessments: No abatement allowed.
  7. CODING OF EXEMPTION ON ASSESSMENT ROLL:
    Code Description of Alternative Codes Possible
    Not applicable

    Assessment Roll Section(s):

    NOTE: Since the abatement allowed here is a reduction in actual taxes levied rather than a reduction in assessed value, no exemption code should be used and no dollar amount should be entered in the "exempt value" section of the assessment roll.

  8. FILING REQUIREMENTS (Owner or Occupant of Property): See the Department of Finance website at www.nyc.gov/dof.
  9. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS (Assessor): None.
  10. SIMILAR EXEMPTIONS:
    Subject Statute
    Energy conservation improvements to certain
    residential premises
    RPTL §487-a
    Solar electric generating systems in
    New York City
    RPTL §499-bbbb
    Solar, wind, or farm waste energy systems RPTL §487

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